Friday, September 23, 2011

Ban This! Author Bites - Jennifer Laurens

Book ratings equal bigger sales to Jennifer Laurens! Read on to find out her take on it. Thanks for contributing, Jennifer!

Student. Teacher. Forbidden. Love.

The line comes from one of my Twitter teasers I post along with a link to Amazon for my YA novel, A Season of Eden. You can guess from the teaser what the book is about. The book isn’t banned. As an indie author I’m not worthy of the national attention deemed ‘bannable’ by librarians and whoever else decides these things. Lucky for me. I’m all right with that. I like being indie for that and a lot of other reasons.

I realize there are plenty of people out there who’d gasp and shudder at the idea of a student/teacher relationship. When I used to read reviews, I read one complaint about A Season of Eden, something along the lines of “this book shouldn’t even be out there!” Again, one of the beauties of being indie—no one can DO anything about the book because it’s not part of the crowd.

I may not be directly affected by censorship but I wholly believe in a book rating system. Just like the movies, books should be rated G, PG, PG-13, R and X. That’d shake up things a bit. You’re browsing the aisles of the bookstore ( if there are any left by the time the ereader revolution settles ) and you see sealed books ( because they’re rated X – and- NOOO peaking allowed! ) The entire romance aisle would be X rated or in some far-off corner of shame. What would a rating system do to the BUYING experience when you carry your book with the bold E ( for erotica ) or X or R rating on the cover up to the counter? Would it make you think before buying? Would readers do more buying online?

I think a ratings system would enhance interest in titles just like it did for music. Who can forget Tipper Gore trying to hold back the ocean of progress with ratings for music? Ratings haven’t done much to change the music industry ( there are just as many crass, foul-mouthed singers as there have always been singing about sex, drugs and whatever else they want to sing about in the form of self expression ) so I doubt a ratings system would change anything about what’s being written. A book rating system might educate some clueless parents about what their kids are reading.

If there was a ratings system, would that mean schools could only carry books with age appropriate ratings for the school? I could see that happening. What if booksellers refused to sell books to kids under the age of 13 if the ratings were like that of movies?

Somehow, I doubt kids would let that stop them.

A ratings system would most likely ADD to book sales in the end. But none of this matters to me. I write what I want to write without being caught in the vision of the all-seeing eye of whoever decides a book should or shouldn’t be banned.

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? Why do they have so much power? Who died and made them King/Queen of anything? ( love Sara Barielles )

Last I checked, there was only One who deserves that kind of notice.

Let’s tilt their thrones. Let’s knock their crowns off. A ratings system would take away some of that stodgy power and ( gasp ) put the decision making back into the minds of the reading public where it should be.

Read and let read -

Jennifer Laurens
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